An occasional series where we pose some questions to local LGBTQ folks (and Allies) to learn more about their personal experiences with LGBTQ culture. Click here for a complete list of all LGBTQ&A profiles.
I first met Becky through a hunger advocacy project – she was a blogger, I was a blogger and we both attended the event. It was months before I learned she and her husband were/are avid OUTrageous Bingo devotees. Then I learned that her sister-in-law is a lesbian. As you tend to learn things about your friends – slowly, as you get to know each other. I remember that when she mentioned it I thought “huh, its cool that she didn’t tell me that early in our friendship” precisely because it wasn’t a card to be played, it was one of my things to learn about a new friend. Now I’m hoping to play bingo with her soon!
Name: Becky Willis
Affiliation: Pittsburgh LQBTA community friend, @mrsgregwillis
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. Growing up, I had one person in my life who was a member of the LGBTQ community; however, I didn’t really know it. There were some kids in high school who would identify with LGBTQ, but no one really close to me. My first real experience was with women I met at Chatham College. I can’t say one person in particular stood out, rather, the whole community showed me that being different is okay and that we as society need to work to change things. Love is love, right?
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? Through the Pittsburgh Lesbian website, attending OUTRageous Bingo, the GLCC website, and my company’s LGBTQ support group.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? From my perspective, I believe it is marriage equality. Partners are fighting to have the same rights that 50 years ago my husband and I would have had to have fought for (he’s mixed-race).
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? They wouldn’t have to fight for acceptance or worry about offending people for being themselves.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? I watched a lot (okay, all) of the L Word, so I have to say I love me some Tasha…but I also have a soft spot in my heart for Sex and the City’s Stanford.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Be proud. March in Pride or support as an ally. Just be proud.